Employment in Dublin accelerated at the fastest rate in nearly four years in the first quarter of 2022 as Covid-related restrictions were eased and companies resumed normal operations.
The latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI) survey from S&P Global shows that business activity in the capital increased sharply in the first three months of the year as the latest wave of Covid faded.
The headline rate increased to 60.1, from 59.4 in the final quarter of 2021, marking four successive quarters of growth.
The report indicated that activity strengthened across all three monitored sectors, led by construction. Output across the rest of the State also increased but at a weaker pace than that seen in Dublin.
The removal of the majority of the Covid-19 restrictions helped to encourage companies to expand their staffing levels, with the pace of growth quickening to its fastest level since 2018.
"This supports anecdotal evidence that recruitment became more difficult at the beginning of the year," the report said. Employment also increased across the rest of Ireland, but at a slower pace.
The sub-index for new orders, which reflects future business, also accelerated in the quarter, which saw new business completing a full year of growth on a quarterly basis. “ While these consistent new order trends signal the potential for strong activity for the remainder of the year, supply constraints pose a real threat,” it said.
Economics director at S&P Global Andrew Harker,said: “The fading of the Omicron wave of the Covid-19 pandemic helped to boost growth in Dublin in the opening quarter of 2022, with the capital outpacing the rest of Ireland.”
“Reduced concerns around the pandemic were especially good news for workers, as firms in Dublin took on additional staff at the fastest pace in three-and-a-half years,” he said.
"The next headwind, however, comes from the impacts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with intensifying cost pressures in particular having the potential to limit growth in the second quarter," he said.